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What was on the Latvian holiday shopping list?

Over Christmas and the New Year, residents throughout Latvia practically bought out the shops – in all shop networks, Item No. 1 was tangerines, followed by ingredients for the Latvian version of potato salad, Latvian Television reprots.

Stores experienced rare sights over Christmas and New Year - empty shelves as shoppers have been particularly keen on shopping.

Representatives of Latvia's largest trade chains said the volume of goods purchased doubled during the festive period. The most purchased item was tangerines, then meat, fish, sparkling wine and various ingredients for salads.

"For example, 129 tonnes of gingerbread, 353 tonnes of tangerines and 82 tonnes of oranges were sold at Rimi stores in November and early December. According to our experience, the amount of gingerbread sold grows between 25% and 30% during the pre-festive period, and it has already doubled during the festive period,” said Everita Bičkova, representative of Rimi Latvia.

“There was a potato salad-making mania this year. Residents bought more of the components,“ Zane Neļķe, spokeswoman for Lidl Latvija, added.

Cheese salad has also been among the most popular products during Christmas and New Year celebrations, and this has been the case since 1997, Bičkova said.

Raina Anna Ločmele, a spokeswoman of Maxima Latvija, also acknowledged that the influx of people during the holidays was higher than it is in everyday life. Although store shelves emptied quickly, shoppers have been more prudent this year.

“When compared to the previous year, people shop more prudently, keep track of the shopping list, and watch discount items as well,” Ločmele said.

How much money shoppers left in the run-up to the festivities was not disclosed, but shop representatives said that the end of the year is usually the most profitable time for merchants.

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